Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholar wins Championship in outstanding debut season
Josh Webster is the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Champion after a truly challenging final pair of races around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in Kent at the weekend. In the face of a major challenge from defending Champion Michael Meadows, Webster became the first driver to lift the crown during their term as Carrera Cup Scholar.
It has been an amazing debut season for the Suffolk racer in the 460 hp, rear-engined 911 GT3 Cup, who was only presented with the two-year Carrera Cup GB Scholarship last October. Racing alongside Meadows at Redline Racing, Webster quickly adapted to the new ‘Type 991’ 911 coupé and was one of only two drivers to finish each of the 19 races. He scored 18 podium finishes and one fourth place in a season of incredible consistency, taking five wins at Donington Park, Croft and Snetterton.
Webster also starred when the series took in a very high-profile support race at the Le Mans 24 Hours in June, finishing second to Ben Barker among the Carrera Cup GB racers.
“I want to say a big thank you to Redline Racing, the Nine Group, James Palmer and everyone for getting me here,” he said after clinching the title in very difficult track conditions. “What a fantastic result! It was the worst possible conditions to race in. Michael has been a fantastic competitor all year and I’ve got a lot of respect for him.”
On a day of top quality race action played out in front of another packed BTCC crowd and live ITV4 cameras, Steven Liquorish (Team Parker Racing) won the Pro-Am2 title by just one point after a season-long battle with Peter Kyle-Henney (Parr Motorsport). “Luckily for me, Peter and Will Goff decided to pit for wet weather tyres when the rain came down in the final race, and I stuck with my decision to stay out on slicks,” said Liquorish (Wantage). “It’s been a fantastic season and for it to come down to the last race of the season and the result to swing my way is brilliant. All credit goes to Team Parker Racing, and it has been great to have had such a battle with Peter. We’ve had our ups and downs but you’d rather have it that way than romp off with the points’ lead. The Le Mans race was the highlight of the season for me: winning the category in France and coming 27th out of 63 cars was incredible.”
Kyle-Henney (Romsey), meanwhile, drove a superb campaign in only his second season of racing to show what can be done to overcome a lack of racing experience with determination and the backing of a strong team.
Justin Sherwood (Team Parker Racing) had clinched the Pro-Am1 title the previous race weekend at Silverstone.
The contest for third overall in the drivers’ standings was settled in the final race as Paul Rees (In2 Racing) ended his debut Porsche Carrera Cup GB season with third and an eight-point margin over Madrid-based driver Victor Jimenez (Redline Racing). Rees (Oxfordshire) joined Webster as the only two drivers to finish each of the 19 races.
Webster’s performance at Brands Hatch earned him the ‘Driver of the Weekend’ award and Stockton on Tees-based Redline Racing was named ‘Team of the Weekend’.
As part of the long-standing support by Michelin of the Carrera Cup GB Championship, before the start of testing ahead of each race weekend a name is drawn from a hat to receive a set of tyres, with a value of more than £1,200. At Brands Hatch, Victor Jimenez was the lucky winner.
Provisional final 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship points:
Overall: 1 Josh Webster 357; 2 Michael Meadows 348; 3 Paul Rees 250….
Pro-Am1: 1 Justin Sherwood 132; 2 Rob Smith 91; 3 Jordan Witt 76….
Pro-Am2: 1 Steven Liquorish 132; 2 Peter Kyle-Henney 131; 3 Will Goff 68….
Teams: 1 Redline Racing 599; 2 In2 Racing 416; 3 Samsung UHD TV Racing 348….
While Josh clinched the Championship crown, it was Meadows (Oxfordshire) who triumphed in the last race of the year.
In the Pro-Am1 category, Edinburgh’s George Brewster (Welch Motorsport) took victory as increasing rain made track conditions challenging and some drivers pitted to change to wet weather tyres. Meanwhile, Liquorish won Pro-Am2 and sealed the category Championship title by a single point.
The rain had started by the time the grid assembled, but all drivers stayed on slicks for the rolling start. Dan Cammish (Team Parker Racing) shot clear at the start and pulled away as Meadows (Samsung UHD TV Racing) worked ahead of title rival Webster. Behind them, a fierce battle raged between Pepe Massot (Parr Motorsport), Jimenez and Jake Hill (In2 Racing) who had stormed up from the back of the grid in spectacular style.
Up front, Cammish elected to pit after nine laps as the rain increased. He opted to change to wet tyres, but conditions then stabilised and it ultimately proved to be the wrong call. Meadows and Webster stayed out on slicks and ran to the flag for first and second, while Hill claimed an impressive third place.
There were some mighty battles in Pro-Am1 down the field and through it all came Brewster to claim a cracking victory after battling ahead of Rob Smith (Redline Racing). Kyle-Henney made the early running in Pro-Am2 from Liquorish and Will Goff (In2 Racing). However, Kyle-Henney opted to pit for wet weather tyres while Liquorish stayed out on slicks and was able to clinch the Pro-Am2 title by the smallest of margins.
Comments after the race, round 19
Michael Meadows (Samsung UHD TV Racing) first overall:
“It’s been me and Josh at the front all year. I tried to give the other guys an opportunity to get up to us and fight with Josh. I knew he’d make it easy for me to get past, but he’s done very well all year.”
Josh Webster (Redline Racing) second overall, and 2014 Carrera Cup GB Champion:
“I’m absolutely over the moon! The conditions were horrendous, as you just don’t get any grip from the slicks. I knew we were on the same tyres and same set up, so whatever Michael did, I was going to do the same.”
George Brewster (Welch Motorsport) first in Pro-Am1:
“I knew I had to be smooth and consistent. I could see Rob Smith ahead and I knew if he stayed out, I should as well. When you’ve done a lot of racing at Knockhill (near Edinburgh) you get plenty of experience of conditions like that. It’s a great result.”
Steven Liquorish (Team Parker Racing) first in Pro-Am2:
“It was very, very slippery, but I made the decision to stay out. The team called me in and for about the first time this season I saw the pit board! But I decided it wasn’t wet enough and I’d driven in those conditions on slicks before.”
Drivers and Teams will be formally presented with their Championship prizes at the end of season Awards in November.